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Lovely Christmas

Grades
1 to 8
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This holiday website has a magnitude of information about Christmas. There are close to 100 articles of interest provided. Topics include Christmas around the world, crafts, cooking,...more
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This holiday website has a magnitude of information about Christmas. There are close to 100 articles of interest provided. Topics include Christmas around the world, crafts, cooking, entertainment, games, gifts, history and more! My personal favorite aspect of this website was the information provided about the Christmas traditions in America, Australia, England, France, Germany, Mexico, Scotland, Spain and other countries.

tag(s): christmas (66)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check out this informative website when planning holiday lessons and festivities. Have a worldwide holiday celebration with traditional activities from different cultures and religions or include some of these explanationa as readings during a holiday musical program at your school.

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Virtual Keyboard - Birmingham Grid For Learning

Grades
1 to 8
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Check out this virtual keyboard that allows users to select an instrument, chord mode, or drum pattern. The instrument choices include a piano, an organ, a saxophone, a flute, ...more
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Check out this virtual keyboard that allows users to select an instrument, chord mode, or drum pattern. The instrument choices include a piano, an organ, a saxophone, a flute, pipes, strings, a guitar, steel drums, and a double bass. Users are able to explore the sounds of the various instruments and click on the virtual piano keys to listen to the sounds. There are also detailed instructions included (click on the instructions button). This site requires Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

This website is perfect for an interactive whiteboard. Use this website to teach basic music theory, blending notes, and even how to make chords. Let the students use their fingers to make music by touch. Special ed techers may find that this tool motivates their non-verbal or autistic students as a reward. Be sure to turn up speakers or use headphones to control sound levels as you wish them to be!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Learning from Lyrics - Johnathan Chase,

Grades
9 to 12
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This site offers a unit/lesson plan that provides the opportunity for students to use their own music to be involved in poetry and music. It also gives links to other ...more
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This site offers a unit/lesson plan that provides the opportunity for students to use their own music to be involved in poetry and music. It also gives links to other pertinent sites, such as a "Blues Bus Trip" that involves students in the history of their music. This is great for Humanitites-oriented classes.

tag(s): lyrics (20), poetry (225)

In the Classroom

Offering six 45-minute lessons, this is a wonderful site for your reluctant learners. While students are encouraged to use their own music, you can offer suggestions of different types of music (such as folk music or Celtic, opera or jazz or blues, etc.). You might adjust plans around the lessons given, assigning different music genres to small groups or individuals which would then incorporate research into the project. The links on this page offer a wide variety of places to go and things to do for students.

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Resources for Primary Teachers - Woodlands Junior School

Grades
K to 5
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Here is another wonderful website created by the Woodlands Junior School. This website is basically a compilation site for teachers. There are links and activities for math, science,...more
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Here is another wonderful website created by the Woodlands Junior School. This website is basically a compilation site for teachers. There are links and activities for math, science, special needs, history, geography, health, holidays, and many other subject areas. The website also offers many lesson plans - find the lesson plans by clicking on the subject. Note: The site is British, so beware of spelling differences! Most of the activities are interactive and require FLASH, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): gifted (94), holidays (152)

In the Classroom

This website is ideal for interactive whiteboards. The amount of topics and information is truly amazing. Don't miss this incredible resource!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Listening to Poetry: Sounds of the Sonnet - National Endowment for the Humanities

Grades
8 to 12
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If you want to make your students love the SOUND of poetry, this is the site for you. While knowing the terms for rhythms, meters, etc. is important to teachers ...more
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If you want to make your students love the SOUND of poetry, this is the site for you. While knowing the terms for rhythms, meters, etc. is important to teachers and for testing, it seems more important for students to understand the sound that comes from language and appreciate it. The terms can always come later and will be connected to a meaningful experience students can recall. This site provides seven sound experiments to whet your students' appetites for poetry. The site provides step-by-step instructions on the seven "experiments" used to involved students in the music of language. It also provides multiple links to different eras from the early Elizabethan sonnets to the Romantics through Victorian and American poets.

tag(s): poetry (225), sonnets (6)

In the Classroom

Conduct these lessons in their "traditional" ways or consider letting students make a podcast of one or more of the experiments so their peers can "hear" the lesson over and over with explanation and commentary from their peers. These podcasts could be the start of a library to accompany the teaching of poetry in your school. If you have never tried podcasting, the relatively simple structure of these "experiments" gives you a structured place to start.

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The Poetics of Hip Hop - Theresa Sotto

Grades
9 to 12
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This site gives lessons to help provide analysis of hip hop music and lyrics and provide students with a greater understanding of rhythm, form, diction, and sound in poetry. It ...more
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This site gives lessons to help provide analysis of hip hop music and lyrics and provide students with a greater understanding of rhythm, form, diction, and sound in poetry. It is a great way to get reluctant English students involved in language and the way it works.

tag(s): poetry (225)

In the Classroom

Four 45-minute lessons are structured to that students will analyze form in Shakespearean sonnets, then analyze hip hop music to determine common characteristics between the Bard's work and the music of hip hop artists. Students will reinforce their understanding of the connections between hip hop and poetry through close analysis of the works of poets Saul Williams and Nikki Giovanni, and through the creation of their own poetry. Related websites offer a variety of directions to take students, making this adaptable for many kinds of lessons.

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American Experience: New Orleans - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent efforts to rebuild the city of New Orleans have brought attention to this distinctive city. This site provides resources for helping...more
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The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent efforts to rebuild the city of New Orleans have brought attention to this distinctive city. This site provides resources for helping students understand its unique history from historical and cultural perspectives.

There are several great interactive resources provided including audio clips and commentary about New Orleans' great musical tradition, and a flash-enabled map showing the growth of the city over time. Whether you're interested in teaching music, particularly American Jazz, or the history of New Orleans' diverse melting pot of cultures or the politics of race in the Katrina recovery process, you will find good content here. Teacher resources include lesson plans on history, civics, music and geography.

tag(s): jazz (15)

In the Classroom

Share the interactive portions on projector and speakers or laptops, as you ask your students to propose a better way for government agencies to prepare for and respond to disasters. Using this site and many others, they can gather evidence to support their proposals. Don't miss the accounts by the Superintendent of the St. Bernard Schools as another source.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Music In Poetry - Smithsonian Institute

Grades
5 to 12
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If you want to get students involved in listening to poetry, try this site featuring real life SOUNDS of poetry in both ballads and the blues. Ballads are traditionally taught ...more
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If you want to get students involved in listening to poetry, try this site featuring real life SOUNDS of poetry in both ballads and the blues. Ballads are traditionally taught as story poems and, while this site does that too, it makes ballads more relevant to the music that kids listen to today. Use this site to teach about meters (iambic triameter and iambic tetrameter) in ways that students can HEAR. The images of the short films are great, too. The site includes readings and singing of great, classic examples of ballads as well as some rarer film footage of great blues singers (ex: John Jackson singing "Steamboat Whistle" at Wolf Trap in 1997). There is a wide variety of tracks to choose from and the site includes lesson plans.

tag(s): blues (19), poetry (225)

In the Classroom

Play the sound files on speakers in your classroom and be sure to include the link on your teacher web page for students to play at home, as well. If you are into podcasting, consider having students make their own recordings of ballads after hearing and studying these. Create podcasts using PodOmatic (reviewed here). The lesson plans are printable Adobe and work with units/lessons on Langston Hughes and the blues as well as the meters of poetry.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Art Presentations - Jefferson County Schools

Grades
K to 8
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This website provides ready-to-go PowerPoint presentations. There are well over twenty presentations on topics related to the visual arts and performing arts. Some of the specific...more
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This website provides ready-to-go PowerPoint presentations. There are well over twenty presentations on topics related to the visual arts and performing arts. Some of the specific topics include music careers, music and culture, rock-n-roll USA, art, impressionism, ceramics, art history and many others. Most of the PowerPoints are extremely well done, featuring graphics, sound, and a wide selection of information. You may need to have PowerPoint software on your computer to view these files, depending on how the site creators saved them.

tag(s): air (163), ceramics (5), impressionism (5), van gogh (8)

In the Classroom

Try these ready-to-go PowerPoint presentations on an interactive whiteboard or projector in your classroom. Some may also be well-suited for individual students to run on a single classroom computer for individua; exploration. There are games, resources and a lot of information.

The site includes a disclaimer asking to be notified if users find any unauthorized, copyrighted material. TeachersFirst recommends that you NOT download copies but instead use them online, just in case.

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Kelly's Kindergarten Web Page - Kelly Nyman

Grades
K to 1
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If there was a "Generosity Award," Kelly would certainly be a front-runner. This site is a wealth of information for Kindergarten or first grade teachers, and it's all free. ...more
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If there was a "Generosity Award," Kelly would certainly be a front-runner. This site is a wealth of information for Kindergarten or first grade teachers, and it's all free. You will find printable games, phonics activities, classroom photos, music power points, classroom tips, Open Court worksheets, songs, and much more. She invites you to print her worksheets, copyright free.

tag(s): air (163), classroom management (149), worksheets (61)

In the Classroom

If you are a Kindergarten or first grade teacher, you will want to mark this site as a Favorite. Plan to spend a large amount of time exploring this site and links. If you need suggestions for setting up a Kindergarten classroom, her pictures lead the way. A beginning teacher will especially benefit from her classroom management ideas. Don't forget to see what she found at the Dollar Store. You may want to email her with a quick 'thank you' after you visit this site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Sing Along Songs - NIEHS

Grades
K to 8
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The National Institutes of Health, Department of Health & Human Services has indexed a plethora of songs and midis in the belief that music is good for health! Enjoy ...more
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The National Institutes of Health, Department of Health & Human Services has indexed a plethora of songs and midis in the belief that music is good for health! Enjoy the golden oldies, children's songs, holiday pieces, patriotic tunes, and everyone's favorites. Read the lyrics and sing along to the tune as it plays. Besides the genre categorization, the index also lists titles alphabetically. An additional feature is the "Guess this Tune" game. NIEHS carefully screens song selection so that teachers can be assured of the quality of the choices. This site requires Quick time. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): lyrics (20), songs (53)

In the Classroom

You might need headphones or speakers for this site. Songs are a wonderful tool to use with ESL students who often memorize songs more quickly than lists of vocabulary words. Singing helps improve accents as well. Primary grade teachers and those working with speech and language will also find this site useful. Be sure to include the link on your teacher web page for students to use independently.

Some of the songs would also be great background for a class skit or play in primary grades. Turn up your speakers and play a patriotic song as your students act out a patriotic skit in social studies class.

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One Station - WRN

Grades
6 to 12
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One Station offers "Diverse Views: Global Voices," or links to radio stations as well as specific shows in a multitude of countries. The opening page has broadcast language choices...more
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One Station offers "Diverse Views: Global Voices," or links to radio stations as well as specific shows in a multitude of countries. The opening page has broadcast language choices for selecting stations. The site includes summaries of content and evaluations of the reliability, frequency, and objectivity of the stations. Click to investigate a specific station and find clickable schedules for daily broadcasts. The "Listen Now" option brings the staion in over your computer. The WRN Podcast page offers listeners the choice of downloading as mp3s for later listening. The audio files are available using either Real Player and Windows Media Player. You can get these from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): chinese (50), french (89), greek (41), italian (34), radio (27), russia (38), russian (28), spanish (109)

In the Classroom

Use this opportunity to introduce your students to the sounds of other culture or to hep develop listenting skills in a world language. High school social studies classes will benefit from following currenet events stories as portrayed in othe English-speaking media.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Activity Ideas for St. Patrick's Day - Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Grades
K to 4
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This site provides lots of simple primary level activities, most of which require only commonly available supplies. The activities include science, math, language arts, music, art,...more
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This site provides lots of simple primary level activities, most of which require only commonly available supplies. The activities include science, math, language arts, music, art, cooking, and more.

tag(s): preK (291), st patricks day (14)

In the Classroom

This would be a nice site to list on your class website for students to access at home for some St. Patrick's Day fun! In art class, project (on your interactive whiteboard or projector) the picture of the finished product so students can "see the goal" while they work. Use the songs in music class to celebrate this holiday.

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Multicultural Theatre in Music - Iris R. Davis

Grades
4 to 6
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This curriculum unit is designed to help fourth and fifth grade students acquire musical and dramatic skills and knowledge. The lessons can be taught in the regular enrichment class...more
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This curriculum unit is designed to help fourth and fifth grade students acquire musical and dramatic skills and knowledge. The lessons can be taught in the regular enrichment class and can be completed in less than 30 minutes. It will take approximately nine weeks to complete the entire unit. While this is geared to a music class, it is adaptable to literature, history, art, or drama. The history of the theater will help students to understand that personal beliefs and societal values influence art forms and styles. Identifying significant works of drama will allow students to understand the diversity of cultures and styles. Students will be able to recognize the aesthetic qualities of the arts and they will learn to act, analyze and respond to performances, evaluate the quality of performances, and demonstrate performance disciplines.

tag(s): diversity (36)

In the Classroom

The joy of units offered like this is being able to use them in their entirety or pick, choose, and adapt to your own classroom needs. If your language arts series includes a theme on creativity or drama, this is a natural extension of that theme.

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Fling the Teacher - Mrs. Field - Music Teacher

Grades
6 to 8
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Fling the Teacher offers a variety of teaching topics and units for middle grade music classes. This teacher-created site from the UK offers topics ranging from African and Chinese...more
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Fling the Teacher offers a variety of teaching topics and units for middle grade music classes. This teacher-created site from the UK offers topics ranging from African and Chinese music to the Beatles and West Side Story. The site also provides lessons for teaching music theory as well as printables for each topic. Don't forget to have students try to "Fling the Teacher" - an automatically graded quiz for each level.

tag(s): music theory (41)

In the Classroom

Include the quizzes on your tecaher web page for at-home practice

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ESL Through Music - CASLT/ACPLS

Grades
1 to 8
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This compilation site describes websites that use music to teach language skills. Not only useful for limited English speakers, this site offers ideas for elementary teachers, as well,...more
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This compilation site describes websites that use music to teach language skills. Not only useful for limited English speakers, this site offers ideas for elementary teachers, as well, with specific songs and suggestions for including music as part of a regular lesson. You will find that addressing musical/rhythmic intelligence may draw in students who otherwise struggle. And all of them will find the different approach a refreshing change.

In the Classroom

Make music a part of every day teaching by using some of these great sites and ideas! Your music teacher may even be willing to reinforce both his/her curriculum and your by singing some of the songs in music class. Why not ask?

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Musical Freeze Improvisations - Matt Buchanan

Grades
6 to 10
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This lesson is intended to teach improvisation and invention, and to introduce the idea of creating story from movement, rather than the other way around. It also works well as ...more
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This lesson is intended to teach improvisation and invention, and to introduce the idea of creating story from movement, rather than the other way around. It also works well as a warm up. It is a variation of musical chairs, but the movement (not the freezing itself) is the important part. It is designed to show students the different aspects of body movement as well as different interpretations by different individuals. While great as a warm-up exercise, this also works well with students who are "stiff" actors or who find it difficult to be natural onstage.

tag(s): acting (27)

In the Classroom

As you read a piece of literature and discuss how a character's actions are part of the characterization, use improv to help students understand how much we learn about people through their actions. If you choose to extend the literature study by having students write a character study, they can use description of actions as part of that study, as well.

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Oxfam Education - Oxfam

Grades
6 to 12
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Oxfam's Teacher Resource site contains a wealth of information about global issues and human rights. There are lesson plans on fair trade, social justice, sustainability, and a new...more
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Oxfam's Teacher Resource site contains a wealth of information about global issues and human rights. There are lesson plans on fair trade, social justice, sustainability, and a new unit on global music. Given the nature of the issues explored, there is a special teacher's guide to teaching controversial issues. The link to "Mapping our World" takes you to a great interactive look at the world and the impact of maps on our view of the world.

tag(s): environment (321)

In the Classroom

Geography teachers will love the "Mapping our World" interactive. Teachers who focus on current events will find much to explore. Oxfam as an organization clearly has a political point of view, but the depth of resources represented is remarkable.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Sound - Crick Web

Grades
K to 3
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This creative site is all about sound! The first section presents the students with ten speakers. The students click on the speaker to hear a sound. Then ...more
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This creative site is all about sound! The first section presents the students with ten speakers. The students click on the speaker to hear a sound. Then the students find the vocabulary word for that sound from the word bank and drag the word to the correct corresponding space. The second activity "Sorting Instrument Sounds" challenges students to sort instruments into one of four categories (instruments we blow, instruments we bang, instruments we pluck or instruments we shake). The students can hear the instruments, by clicking on the picture of the instrument. Both activities provide a "check" button for assessment purposes. FLASH is required.

tag(s): listening (92), sound (103)

In the Classroom

This kid-friendly site will enhance any unit on sound or musical instruments.Be sure to turn up your volume! You may have to read the written labels aloud to very weak readers.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Song Lyrics: Using Songs in the ESL Classroom - Neil Coghlan

Grades
1 to 8
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Long known to improve accents and intonations, singing with limited English speakers also provides cultural knowledge, fun, and a whole-language way to assist students to memorize English...more
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Long known to improve accents and intonations, singing with limited English speakers also provides cultural knowledge, fun, and a whole-language way to assist students to memorize English in meaningful chunks. Mainly an alphabetical index to many enjoyable songs, this site also gives suggestions about how to use the lyrics to help improve the students' English.

tag(s): lyrics (20)

In the Classroom

Find lyrics to any song you want! Share this link with your students themselves, They may want to look up some songs they have heard and did not fully understand.

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